Do all workers in KETs domains need to be entrepreneurs?

Yes, claim the stakeholders, but in a broader sense. This is according to the preliminary results of a parallel study on KETs Skills conducted by PwC for DG RTD of the European Commission. The entrepreneurial skills in a broader sense here include having a basic understanding of the market developments and the existence of market pull, ability to present ideas in a convincing way, ability to detect potential market for a new technology and similar competences.

Stakeholders emphasise the importance of working on opening up the minds of people and making them aware of entrepreneurial opportunities and how to act upon those. It is, however, more needed for their research work (e.g. to increase its practical applicability) rather than for doing hard-core business development. General awareness raising and training of basic entrepreneurial skills for all employees is likely to increase the quality of the workforce and boost the commercialisation outputs.

Then, for those who are interested, training needs to be provided allowing them to develop their entrepreneurial skills at a more advanced level. It is thus more about creating specific training opportunities for those who want rather than imposing it on everybody.

When it comes to more specific entrepreneurial sills related to professional business development, rather than trying to ‘inject’ entrepreneurship in every single KETs worker, employers should aim at developing a selection of entrepreneurship champions/entrepreneurial managers. This approach could be combined with a practice of ‘attaching’ these people to the whole development and commercialisation trajectory which, in turn, is likely to maximise the effect of the abovementioned skills and create a higher sense of ownership of the assigned task.

Specific entrepreneurship training is also required for people working in Sales and Customer Support, where a good understanding of the client needs and the market is of vital importance.

Finally, there is a need for a new generation of entrepreneurs in KETs domain, i.e. entrepreneurs who can further develop emerging areas such as additive manufacturing, hybrid machines etc. Currently, these areas are growing from a technological perspective, and there is a need for people who can act upon these opportunities on the market. There is a need for a combination of general entrepreneurial skills and a good knowledge of these new technologies.

 

Contractor

A service contract has been awarded in December 2013 by the European Commission to a consortium led by empirica to undertake this work.

The event is supported by the EC in the scope of the service contract to promote e-leadership in Europe (LEAD)